Isaac Hayes

Live At Montreaux 2005

BY Kevin JonesPublished Jan 25, 2008

While most recent memories of legendary soul man Isaac Hayes are undoubtedly dominated by his freaky Chef role on South Park, the 65-year-old king of hot buttered ’70s love ballads is still as busy as ever spreading his grooves on stages the world over. On this 2005 recording of his third trip to Switzerland’s esteemed Montreux Jazz Festival, Hayes treats a rather static capacity crowd to a brief history of soul, with both rock and blues finding a place in his competent lesson. Classics like "Never Can Say Goodbye” and the timeless "Walk On By” fare best in the set, the latter highlighted by a lengthy opening guitar solo that easily matches the original, wrapped up with a killer drum breakdown that earns its own separate track. While the questionable inclusion of three keyboardists to back up the singer’s own keys feels noticeably redundant at times (especially when covering the horn parts), it’s not enough to ruin a solid set that offers a glimpse of what it might have been like to see Hayes in his prime.
(Eagle Eye)

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